Swimmers keep lead

Swimmers keep lead
Singapore's sole gold of the night came from Roanne Ho (centre) in the 50m breaststroke. Samantha Yeo (left) finished second ahead of Thailand's Phiangkhwan Powapotako

Roanne Ho wins sole gold on penultimate day as women's relay squad are out-touched Before day five of the South-east Asian Swimming Championships' swimming competition yesterday, Singapore had an ongoing streak of winning at least two golds each day at the OCBC Aquatic Centre.

Heading into the final event of the day, the quartet of Tan Jing-E, Nur Marina Chan, Samantha Yeo and Amanda Lim had one last shot to ensure the run continued, in the women's 4x100m medley.

Singapore's only gold medal of the day had come from Roanne Ho, who won the women's 50m breaststroke. In the end, they missed out by just 0.27sec. Thailand won the gold in a time of 4min 15.27sec.

Said freestyle specialist Lim, who swam the last leg: "My team-mates were doing their best to give me a big lead, because we knew the last Thai swimmer was fast. I choked at the turn, and perhaps that would have made the difference."

The 21-year-old added: "It was definitely disappointing, but I thought we did well for a young team against the Thai national team."

Breaststroke specialist Ho, on the other hand, was glad the national anthem rang out at least once on home turf every day.

The 21-year-old's time of 33.35 was enough to clinch the gold, even though it was off her national record of 32.27.

Compatriot Samantha Yeo, who is heading for the University of Michigan on a partial scholarship in August, ensured a one-two finish, clinching silver in 33.39.

Overall, it was a good day out for Singapore, who kept their lead at the top of the medal tally with 11 golds, 12 silver, and seven bronzes.

The competition is the last window for several swimmers to make the cut for September's Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea.

Darren Lim (100m free) and Rachel Tseng (800m free) both met the Singapore Swimming Association's B qualifying time, and could make the Asiad cut pending approval from the Singapore National Olympic Council.

Marina (50m and 100m fly, 100m free), Pang Sheng Jun (200m, 400m individual medley), and Christopher Cheong (200m breast) also met the B timings.

Meanwhile, South-east Asian Swimming Federation president Jeffrey Leow told The Sunday Times that he will step down from the post after the championships end on Tuesday, having served the maximum term of four years.

Nguyen Duc Hanh, president of the Vietnam Aquatic Sports Association, whose country will host the event's next edition in 2016, will take over.

siangyee@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on June 22, 2014.
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